NET WORTH: $600 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Screenwriter, Producer
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health & Human Services, Global
OVERVIEW: Chuck Lorre and family do their grantmaking through the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation (CLFF), which funded around $1.8 million in grants in a recent year. CLFF funds innovative and compassionate organizations in education, health and the arts. In education, Lorre has funded scholarship programs at several Los Angeles area schools.
BACKGROUND: Chuck Lorre was born into a Jewish family on Long Island. He attended SUNY Potsdam but dropped out to pursue a songwriting career. He co-wrote the soundtrack to the television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lorre’s big break came in 1991 when he became a supervising producer on the ABC/Carsey-Werner hit comedy, Roseanne. He has since gone on to a prolific writing and producing career, with the long-running hits Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation made an initial grant to endow The Big Bang Theory Scholarships at UCLA, which provides financial support for students in STEM subjects. Various cast and crew of Big Bang Theory have supported the program, resulting in the endowment reaching more than $4 million. As Lorre puts it, “We have all been given a gift with ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ a show that’s not only based in the scientific community, but also enthusiastically supported by that same community. This is our opportunity to give back."
California State Summer School for the Arts is home to the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation Legacy CSSA Scholarship Fund. Lorre has supported Grammy Foundation and the GSS Community Awards Program, which offers financial support for local high school music education programs; and United Friends of the Children's Pathways Housing Program, an "18-36 month program for emancipated youth who are at risk of homelessness."
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Lorre is a longtime supporter of Venice Family Clinic, "dedicated to providing free, quality health care to people in need." The clinic is home to The Robert Levine Family Health Center, named in honor of Lorre's father. Other grantees include Friends of Saban Community Clinic, Downs Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and CLARE Foundation, which works in addiction. Lorre has spoken about his own struggles with alcohol and mental health.
GLOBAL: Lorre has supported Eastern Congo Initiative, UNICEF, and Thorn Digital Defenders of Children, an "international anti-human trafficking organization that works to address the sexual exploitation of children."
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Lorre's steady philanthropy to continue.
Chuck Lorre Family Foundation
1880 Century Park East, Suite 950
Los Angeles, CA 90067